We train for this. We prepare for this. And when the call comes in, we had better be ready to grab our breath alcohol devices and head to the scene of the tragedy. This weekend, as always, we were ready.
DOT Post Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing
Thanks, in part, to this nation’s federal DOT drug testing laws, tragedies like the Metro North derailment in the Bronx the other day are rare. I am proud to run a company that helps carry out those laws, by responding to accidents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This helps ensure that engineers, pilots, and truck and bus drivers are drug and alcohol free when performing their duties. The simple fact that our industry exists reduces substance use among safety sensitive employees. If we do our job well, it increases safety even more.
Nobody should have to experience what the injured and killed customers and staff of Metro North are going through right now. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of them, as well as their families. And my deepest respect goes out to the first responders and rescuers who risked their lives at a moment’s notice.
They say that if you love what you do, you add 40 (or more) hours on to every week. And if what you does has meaning, you add add purpose to your whole existence. Every job means something. For me, my job means something because – in some way – we help prevent such tragedies. We do it by running a company that responds quickly, professionally, and ethically. We do it without judgement. And we are sought out for our services in emergencies such as this one because we have proven that we do our jobs well.
FRA Tox Box
The most important jobs that DOT drug and alcohol technicians perform are the ones which come up the least often. 1% of the work performed is worth 99% of the importance. This is why specimen collectors must always stay refreshed on their training.
Whenever there are fatalities, the FRA requires blood tests for drugs and alcohol, in addition to urine. Railroads also have the option of performing federally authorized breath alcohol tests. Special “FRA Tox Boxes” are used during these tragedies. These boxes don’t often see the light of day, but when they are required, they must be immediately available, and the technicians must know exactly what to do.